Amateur Radio Newsline Report #2031, Sept. 30, 2016

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Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2031 with a release date of Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST.  Devil's Tower National Monument is activated in Wyoming -- Maine's first YL turns 108 --and the International Space Station prepares for a radio upgrade! All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline's Report #2031 comes your way right now.





JIM DAMRON/ANCHOR: We begin this week's newscast in Wyoming, the latest stop in a series of National Park activations by a ham radio family hitting the road. Newsline's Paul Braun WD9GCO caught up with the father and son at Devil's Tower.

PAUL's REPORT: Most families, when planning a road trip, try to come up with games to play on the road like "find the road sign" or "name that car." Or singing a song like "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" until you can't take it anymore.

Unless you're a ham radio family, that is, like David Hellman, WD7I and his father Sandy, K7FRG. They recently planned a family road trip and instead of games, planned a string of National Parks on the Air activations. I caught up with them right after they had finished activating Devil's Tower National Monument in Wyoming. I asked them about their trip:

DAVID: My dad and I are just finishing up a two-week trip where we drove from Wisconsin all the way out to Yellowstone to meet up with my sister and her partner there. We spent a week out there, but on the way to Yellowstone and on the way back we chose some of the National Park units to activate and Devil's Tower was the ninth out of the ten that we will be doing - we'll be doing one more today on the way home.

I asked Helman how the activation at Devil's Tower went:

DAVID:  Oh, it was great - it was a beautiful site, and we had a nice view of the monument. And we, in 45 minutes we made 90 contacts. [Paul] What was your furthest one away?] Now, let's see - we had Honolulu yesterday. We haven't had many Hawaii stations - along our trip we've had some from Croatia and France but not too many DX stations but yesterday the farthest I think was Honolulu.

What did the Helmans enjoy most about their road trip?

DAVID: My dad and I really enjoyed it, just of course being at the parks and it's nice to be able to go to all these beautiful parks and have a nice activity in amateur radio to do there to enjoy it. So we really enjoy the combination of the activations and the beauty of the parks.

The A-Double-R-L's National Parks On The Air program is rapidly coming to a close, but based on all of the stories we've been hearing over the past months, it is succeeding in not only celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, but also in getting hams out of their shacks and into beautiful parts of our country.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Paul Braun, WD9GCO.



JIM/ANCHOR: If you were lucky enough to land a contact with N8V, the Special Event station of the National Tribal Amateur Radio Association, you know what the excitement was all about. If you missed them, well, listen up and start planning for next year. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Mike Askins KE5CXP.

MIKE: The week of Sept. 19 marked five days of "firsts" for the National Tribal Amateur Radio Association. The growing organization, which assists American Indians with amateur radio on tribal lands, operated its first Special Event Station N8V from the National Tribal Emergency Management Conference in Leemore, California. The station had the support of the Tulare County Amateur Radio Club and the Fresno County ARES group, both of which provided equipment and operators for the 20 meter operation. NTARA's national president, Nathan Nixon N7NAN, said that the special QSL cards commemorating the event will be sent soon to the 380 successful contacts made both on SSB and PSK 31. Operators worked with a Yaesu FT-897 and FLdigi for PSK 31 and used a Yaesu FT-897 and FT-450D for phone. The operation made use of a three-element beam and some vertical antennas -- and some enthusiastic operators. Grateful but tired, Nathan directs all questions now to the QRZ page for W7NTV as well as Facebook and Twitter.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Mike Askins, KE5CXP.



JIM/ANCHOR: We'd now like to wish a happy birthday to Mary Cousins. Happy birthday to the woman once known as W1GSC.These wishes come a few days late but then, turning 108 as the Maine resident did this past Sept. 20 has likely cultivated a lot of patience for this retired librarian.

Mary Cousins was the first woman in the State of Maine to become a licensed radio amateur, a feat she accomplished in 1933, when her name was Mary Sibyl Wallace and she was 24 years old. The licensing authority back then was the Federal Radio Commission, an entity that did not even exist in 1908, the year she was born.

Even though it has been some time since she operated as W1GSC, Mary did enjoy a sweet moment with her old call sign: the likeness of her license decorated the dessert at her party in Deer Isle, Maine. In fact, you might say it was the icing on the cake.




JIM/ANCHOR: In the UK, one special presentation is about to celebrate the role the International Space Station has had with thousands of youngsters. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot G4NJH tells us more.

JEREMY: Take the number 10 and multiply it many times over. That is in fact what happened this year with hundreds, if not thousands, of school children in the UK who experienced one of 10 radio contacts with International Space Station astronaut Tim Peake GB1SS during his Principia mission. The youngsters' experience will be the subject of a presentation on Saturday the 8th of October by Susan Buckle, the UK Space Agency's Astronaut Flight Education Programme Support Manager when she speaks at the Radio Society of Great Britain's convention. The convention takes place from the 7th of October until the 9th.

She and Ciaran Morgan M0XTD will discuss the 10 ARISS school contacts with the astronaut, exchanges which sparked interest in amateur radio among the young in a new and meaningful way. The two will also present an RSGB video about the contacts at the schools, where many of the student participants were already newly licensed amateurs.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jeremy Boot, G4NJH.




JIM/ANCHOR: All those ARISS radio contacts are about to get a little bit better, thanks to an upgrade in the works. Here's Newsline's Neil Rapp, WB9VPG.

NEIL'S REPORT: The International Space Station is in the final stages of getting an upgrade!  For some time, the radio equipment onboard the station has needed to be replaced.  While new equipment has been graciously donated, significant funding has been needed for testing, certification, and delivery of the equipment to make sure it meets NASA standards… and the post office doesnÕt have free 2 day shipping to the space station. Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, the ARISS International Program Chair, explains the details.

FRANK: Basically, the interoperable radio systems we're developing for the International Space Station will have both the JVC Kenwood D710 radio in it which will provide higher power and more capability for both the schools and make the contact more robust, as well as for the hams on the ground. Also as part of that we are developing a multi-voltage power supply that will support not only the new radio system but more capabilities for the future that we are planning on deploying on space stations. It's actually going to be something for not only the present but the future. And also we are working with NASA and the other space agencies to certify this across all of space stations.

NEIL: Contact between schools and the space station have inspired young people to study science and technology, and is one of the more publicized demonstrations of the power of amateur radio to communities that are involved. Frank reports that funds are still needed to complete the equipment upgrade.

FRANK: This fundraising activity we're doing right now is critically important to get this radio system ready for flight. It is very expensive to test and certify for NASA and the other space agencies' standards. And so it is way over $100,000 -- almost $200,000 to make this happen.We would appreciate anything. At the AMSAT.ORG website we have a "donate" button for ARISS and you are welcome to donate. Anyone that donates $100 or more gets the specially developed ARISS Challenge Coin.

NEIL: Corporate donors should contact Frank Bauer directly at

Reporting for Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Neil Rapp, WB9VPG.


Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including W5AW, the Big Springs Amateur Radio Club Repeater in Big Springs, Texas, on Thursdays at 8 p.m.



JIM/ANCHOR: Great news if you're a fan of TV's "Last Man Standing" - and also a fan of DSTAR - you will get to enjoy both on the air on Tuesday, Oct. 11. That's one of the nights the crew shoots the ABC-TV sitcom and two special guests, Ed Woodrick WA4YIH and Amy Woodrick KE4IKF will be visiting KA6LMS, the set in Studio City, California, during the crew's dinner break. Ed and Amy will be on DSTAR via Reflector 30C while seated in the office of the show's main character Mike Baxter KA0XTT, played by Tim Allen. So be listening: The fun should last an hour and start at about 2245 UTC.



JIM/ANCHOR: The North American QRP CW Club needs help for its on-air anniversary event. We hear more from Newsline's Bobby Best WX4ALA.

BOBBY: It's not quite a distress call being sent in CW but a definite call for help is being transmitted by the North American QRP CW Club. The group is planning its anniversary event on Oct. 10th through Oct. 16th and has learnt that a number of the volunteer operators had to back out of their commitments due to health matters and schedule conflicts. So they're hoping a few more amateurs, particularly in District 5, 6 and 9, will want to step forward, paddles at the ready, to work as N5A, N6A and N9A.

Operating schedules are flexible, according to the group's president Paul N8XMS, and even if an operator can give only an hour or two during the week, that will suit the game plan fine. Paul also noted that hams must be members of the NAQCC. They can use their regular gear operating QRP in CW all week, and submit logs and summary information later.

To get details and contact information, visit

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bobby Best, WX4ALA.



JIM/ANCHOR: The call sign K2BSA has three more locations on the air this week. Here's more from Newsline's Bill Stearns NE4RD.

BILL'S REPORT: This week in Radio Scouting we have 3 activations of the K2BSA callsign in IA, NJ, and OH.

Mike Miller, AC0BD, will be the control operator for the portable 0 station at ScoutJam held at Camp Mitigwa in Boone, Iowa on October 8 from 1400 to 2100 UTC.   "ScoutJam" will feature dozens of activities for hundreds of scouts, Tiger through Eagle, and celebrates the 100-year anniversary of scouting in central Iowa. Operators, including those from the Ankeny Centennial High School Amateur Radio Association, AC0HS, will be active on 20 meter voice.

Gary Wilson, K2GW, will be the control operator for the portable 2 station at ScoutFest 2016 in Lambertville, NJ on  October 8 from 1300 to 1930 UTC.  This all council event expects attendance at 4000 participants. The Washington Crossing Council Radio Scouting Committee will have the station active on 20 and 40 meters.

Eric Koci, KD8ZSO, will be the control operator for the portable 8 station at the Peterlook Camporee in Loveland, OH on October 8 from 1400 to 2100 UTC.  Hosted by the Dan Beard Council, this biannual event will host 5500 Scouts and Scouters and has been in operation since 1927. The West Chester Amateur Radio Association and the Butler County Radio Association will be on the air on 40, 20 and 2 meter bands, as well as having a Fox Hunt.

Remember Jamboree on the Air is the weekend of October 14th through the 16th.  Contact your local radio club, scouting council or district, and see what you can do to help make the 59th JOTA a success.

For more information on K2BSA, JOTA resources, and radio scouting, please visit

For Amateur Radio Newsline and the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association, this is Bill Stearns NE4RD.



JIM/ANCHOR: Hams are being honored on both sides of the Atlantic. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Skeeter Nash N5ASH with the details.

SKEETER'S REPORT: Dave Deane EI9FBB, a devoted DXpeditioner, IOTA activator and chaser, has been given the prestigious Clipperton Award of Distinction for his contributions to amateur radio, most particularly his three new IOTA activations accomplished with other IOTA groups. They are NA-247, AF-119 and AS-202. Dave was given the honor recently during Clipperton's 38th Convention in Brest, Brittany, where he spoke on the subject of IOTA.

Dave had been nominated for this award during the Ham Radio fair in Friedrichshafen, where he also gave a presentation on IOTA.

Meanwhile, in New York, four amateurs are being honored for their contributions by the ARRL's Hudson Division. The annual Awards Luncheon will be hosted by the Orange County Amateur Radio Club at the Ramada Cafe International in Newburgh, N.Y. on November 5. The Amateur of the Year award goes to Lee Hatfield K2HAT and three other amateurs have been declared "Grand Ol' Hams." They are Andy Bodony K2LE, Gordon Shacklett, KB2SSZ and Joe Dreifuss W2KQ.

Luncheon tickets are $37 and can be ordered now. Proceeds will go to the ARRL Legislative Issues Advocacy Fund.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Skeeter Nash, N5ASH.




In the world of DX, Polish operators will be operating from Central Kiribati starting on 4th October for about 4 weeks. The callsign will be T31T and they will be on all bands 80m to 6m. They are also hoping to train local residents in the use of Emergency Radio Communication systems. Send QSL cards via Club Log OQRS.

Stan LZ1GC and Emil DL8JJ will use the call sign H44GC from the Solomon Islands until 3rd October. Listen for them anywhere between 160m and 10m on CW, SSB and RTTY. Their QSL Manager is LZ1GC.

New Zealand amateur operators will be active from Norfolk Island as VK9NZ until the 8th of October. They hope to have 3 stations operating simultaneously. Send QSL cards to ZL3PAH. Logs will also be uploaded to Logbook of The World.




JIM/ANCHOR: We end this week's newscast with this simple message: If you are hungry, really hungry, for a good radio contact, this report from Graham Kemp VK4BB is just for you.

GRAHAM: What is the recipe for a good QSO? Perhaps the question really ought to be: Where do you find a QSO for a good recipe?

Why, on 20 meters of course, on Monday nights. That's where you will find ROTA. That's R-O-T-A for "recipes on the air." This is a weekly Net in Australia that really cooks, whether the food-prep method is boiling, roasting or baking.  Begun in May 2012 by Australian native Bruce ZD7VC, the on-air gathering immediately follows the ANZA DX Net, as it did at the very start when Bruce's YL Charmaine, ZD7A began one day to chat about food with Lyn VK4SWE. Lyn told Newsline in an email: QUOTE "It was fun to chat with another YL and learn of different styles of cuisine and we exchanged recipes by email. We soon discovered that many of the ANZA OMs had XYLs who were licensed but not very active." ENDQUOTE Soon Bridgette ZS1V and Sue ZS1AFR joined in, as did others, some of whom lived on rare IOTA destinations.

The fickleness of propagation adds spice to the whole activity of course and Lyn says that Monday nights have never been the same. The group starts checking in around 0630 UTC after the ANZA DX Net on 14.183.

They'll chew the rag and then plan on chewing whatever else they've got on the stovetop or in the oven to share.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Graham Kemp, VK4BB.


NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; ARDF World Championships; the ARRL; CQ Magazine; the Ellsworth American; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; the IARU; Irish Radio Transmitter Society; John Amodeo NN6JA; K2BSA; National Tribal Amateur Radio Associaton; North American QRP CW Club; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; QRZ; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; USS Oklahoma & USS Batfish Amateur Radio Club; Wireless Institute of Australia; WTWW Shortwave; and you our listeners, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline. Please send emails to our address at More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's only official website located at

For now, with Caryn Eve Murray, KD2GUT, at the news desk in New York, and our news team worldwide, I'm Jim Damron, N8TMW in Charleston, West Virginia saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

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